If you are staying overnight in Atlantic City, you can choose between casino hotels on the boardwalk or just north in the Marina District. As someone who goes to Atlantic City for day and overnight trips at least 5 times a year, I’ll lay out the pros and cons of staying at boardwalk casino hotels vs Marina District hotels in Atlantic City!
Staying overnight in Atlantic City: Boardwalk Casino Hotels
Your hotel is right on the boardwalk, which makes it convenient for casino hopping. And all the casino hotels on the boardwalk are within a two mile walk of each other. A boardwalk hotel also offers views of the ocean which can be romantic at night. In addition to gambling, some of the activities you can find on the boardwalk include The Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, Hard Rock Cafe, and the upscale Pier Shops at Caesar’s Casino Hotel.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few panhandlers on the boardwalk. So if being accosted by someone begging for money bothers you, the boardwalk casino hotels may not be your best choice for staying overnight in Atlantic City. Also, aside from Ripley’s and the Pier Shops, there is very little else to do on the boardwalk. You need to drive if you want to see the Atlantic City Aquarium or Lighthouse, take a boat ride along the bay, or visit Lucy the Elephant in nearby Margate.
Staying overnight in Atlantic City: Marina District Casino Hotels
The newest and the largest casino hotels are in the Marina District: The Borgata and Harrah’s. These hotels are more along the lines of the casino hotels on the Las Vegas Strip with their décor and appearance. While staying at a hotel in the Marina District, you can get an awesome view of the Atlantic City boardwalk from your hotel room. And that view is fantastic at night when the casinos are all lit up. The Trump Marina Casino Hotel also has a nice bar on the bay with live entertainment in the summer.
You are not on the boardwalk, so you are not near the beach. You need to drive to get to these places, although Harrah’s offers free shuttle service to its other casino properties: Bally’s, Caesar’s, and Showboat. You cannot walk between the casino hotels in the Marina District without crossing busy highways, so you have to drive or take a Jitney Bus for $2 pp one way. And they do not run all night.
Staying overnight in Atlantic City: Where should you go?
In the end, it’s all what you want to do. If you like more Vegas style hotels and have no special need to see the boardwalk, you will enjoy staying at one of the three casino hotels in the Marina District. For a night of casino hopping against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, then the boardwalk casino hotels are what you want if you are staying overnight in Atlantic City.